Here’s something to get your teeth into. Over at LaptopMag, a whole host of Androids have been put through their paces in a grueling battery life endurance test. The goal was to keep the phones’ screens on while doing a moderate amount of processing, namely cyclically browsing a collection of web pages. Despite the supposed power savings afforded by AMOLED screens, the phones employing that screen technology fell quite a ways behind in comparison to the traditional LCD phones.

Why is that? AMOLED is supposed to only use up power on non-black pixels, right? Well, as LaptopMag points out, the majority of webpages are actually dark text on a light background, a scenario in which AMOLED actually uses more power than an equivalent backlit LCD. The results of LaptopMag’s testing bear this out (the x axis measures the amount of hours each phone lasted):


Even the monstrous Dell Streak puts up a commendable showing compared to its OLED brethren.

As you can see, the Droid X is top of the pile, with about 70% longer endurance than the HTC Incredible. Oddly enough, Sprint’s Epic 4G manages close to an hour longer than its AT&T and T-Mobile Galaxy S kin, despite having identically rated batteries. Guess the Epic 4G is just awesome like that.

So what’s the moral of the story? If you do a lot of web browsing, AMOLED isn’t exactly the panacea for battery life. What I’d be interested in, though, is the same test done with CyanogenMod’s colour inversion enabled in the browser. In that case, the AMOLEDs should excel for the very reason that dragged them down in this test.


Don’t feel too down, AMOLED fanboys. You always have your viewing angles and saturation to keep you happy. Meanwhile, you can lick your wounds in the comments below.

PS – Anyone kind of curious about how the iPhone 4 would do in the above test? Make it happen, LaptopMag.

Source: LaptopMag.com

The article in the source is about a month old, but we just stumbled on it and considered the information presented to be very useful.
Brian O'Toole
Having learnt his writing techniques reading e-Books of Sherlock Holmes, Brian now spends his time /kicking, lurking, SSHing and encoding.
  • Mike

    I agree. I have a Vibrant and the battery life is lacking.

  • NYC_dave

    Battery life is one thing i ABSOLUTELY HATE about my Epic 4g, but i think that it's just a part of the immense bugs the phone has, one that has to do with a certain 3g battery drain bug. Because the same phone on wifi and wifi only (vs 3G) lasts a whole lot longer. Weird.

    Can't wait for a major firmware update sometime next month.

    • Kane

      3G radio uses a lot more power, so you should always try to get on WiFi if you're around it (like at work or home).

      • Dave

        wifi uses more battery than 3g. That is a known fact.

        • dp

          It's a fact that inactive wifi uses more power than inactive 3g. Its also a known fact that active 3g (actually transmitting or receiving data) uses more power than active wifi.


    Don't you know that 3G uses mormore power that wifi?

  • http://en.wordpress.com/hegartyblog chegs

    I love my captivate, but i've always had a feeling that it is a bit of a battery hog.

  • droidxcon

    I work on a team that develops OLEDs molecules. You guys are forgetting that LCD technology has been around alot longer and has alot more development. In the coming years you will see big growth in device architecture,which will exceed LCD by leaps and bounds. But for now the technology is in its infancy so expect it to have its quirks.

  • android4lyf

    Well I believe that even though lcd has been out and on mostly all cell phones that it its easy more developed than amoled. But I am sure I'm the next year or so amoled well our do lcd.

    • jose

      I disagree..LCDs r still pretty new and keep getting better and more energy effecient..like Sony's slcd they have just as good resolution as samsungs super amoled but like 30-40% more energy effecient

      • John Doe

        Its not just about energy efficiency. LCD's display of blacks has always lacked behind OLED for obvious reasons. Resolution is pretty much a moot point since all displays can easily handle any resolution throw at them.

    • Kane

      What language was that? Did you ever read what you wrote?

  • Dp

    That test really needs to stop being cited. It was conducted in the most ridiculous way. The screens should have been set to the same measured luminance, not the same brightness setting. The way they did it invalidates the entire test.

  • abeeee

    my Evo and its 3500mAH battery lets me keep 4G and GPS always on and make it through the day without a problem <3

  • ahmad

    I were hoping to see SE X10 in this list :|

  • http://www.compressionstockings.com/cep.php CEP Socks

    I have the Incredible, and the battery life does suck. It also has the smallest battery of the bunch. Its on the charger at least twice a day. Aside from that , I love it.

  • Mojo

    We love the HTC Droid Incredible screen. So what if we do a lot of tethering :)
    I could have swapped for the x, but did not after taking pictures and looking at both of them on the phones. I am still pretty happy with the choice I made!

  • Achraf

    Haha look at that picture at 1st site where can i download amoled xd